Hey Richard,

I was about to send you an e-mail asking for a cheat sheet pack list for my first attempt at plein aire when I noticed how much the site has grown. I wanted to send you my congratulations... I think that I was member number 35 and as of a moment ago there are 163! Brilliant! Thanks for all of the wonderful education and motivation you pass along. You help us all to grow each day. ...and if you have a pack list that I could bum off of you I will give you mille grazie. :D

Amy Hinson

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Comment by Amy Hinson on March 26, 2010 at 4:12
exactly what I needed... and you are correct the paint CAN smell fear! LOL
Comment by Richard Robinson on March 25, 2010 at 9:40
Hi Amy, yeah it's a swingin hot spot now - good to see. Great that you're getting into plein air. There's a ning plein air group here: http://pleinairartists.ning.com/ which I've joined up with you might be interested in - some great painters there.

When you said a 'cheat sheet' did you mean a materials list or a list of things to do and things not to do?

If it's materials, here's a wee list:
Limited palette of 3 or 4 colors plus white.
Doesn't really matter which colors - just play around with different combos.
Currently I'm using Ultramarine Blue, Cad Red Light, Cad Yellow Light, Titanium White.
Outdoor easel
Seat
Sun Umbrella
Insect repellent
Lunch
Drink
Sun Hat
Sun Screen
Long-sleeved shirt
Camera
Roll of toilet paper/paper towels/rags/baby wipes
Plastic bag for rubbish

As for a list of to-dos...

Um, still working on this myself, but...

Keep it simple.
Do a few 2 or 3 value thumbnails first to sort out the bones of your design/idea.
SQUINT!
Use the fuzzy one eye!
Don't stare - take in the whole scene.
Block in your dark masses first.
Then you can either go for your lights or your mid values.
Whichever way, be METHODICAL and stay focused on the process of translating colored shapes to your canvas. As soon as you stop being methodical your painting will suffer.
And last but not least, DON'T PANIC!
(the paint can smell your fear)

Hope that helps.

Let me know how it goes.
Cheers,
Richard

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